I’d like to take this moment to agree with all of my autistic friends that daylights savings time is a mind fuck. I cannot tell you where the hour came from or is going. It’s cruel and if you live in Brooklyn I volunteer to reset your watches and electronic clocks back to matching seconds. Yes, even your mother’s microwave. Especially the microwave. Yes, I can make it march the clock at that bank.
Update- I’m so fucking serious. Fosterhoodblog at the gmail- meet a a library? Yes, I know I’m looking at 20+ devices… #yesabankwillchangetheirclocksecondstomatchyourwatchifyoudroptheautismcard #hashtagswillprobablyneverbearealthingtome
That the fellow who did the homestudy was a very, very nice man. And my posts that follow tomorrow reflect more on my snarky obnoxiousness than the lovely man’s abilities or character.
He told me he studied agriculture in school. The fact that his background is not social work-y would have bothered me in the past but these days I’m much more interested in people being rational, which he was- so again, good man. Very good man.
Clementine loves the back of her hands massaged (and that’s about it). She watches me rub the top of her fingers and grins at me and then looks at her fingers and grins at me and then looks at her fingers and grins at me and then looks at her fingers……
I take full responsibility for my blood pressure and how I respond to stress. I chose foster care. I just choose to bitch about it sometimes too. Any research out there that supports blogging reduces foster parent blood pressure? ;)
Just got a “call me back and let me know if you’re home” message from the person doing Clementine’s home study.
YES, I’m home!!! Of course I’m home, we have this thing called AN APPOINTMENT. You’re coming over to do one of the most important interview’s of my life! I’m not playing golf. And how many confirmations is it going to take to get you here? I’m betting at least 3 more.
In person I’m quick to say that my job has the same phone calling problem as foster care (and now early intervention). Like foster care, we have parents in addition to the individuals we serve (I work in a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities) And sometimes we have 6 different people call a parent within an hour about something. We too have case workers who develop relationships with the families and coordinate everything, so having additional people call is, in my book, not cool. It’s some sort of always growing competition to create documentation to cover your ass (CYA) aka. I tend to flip-out sort of like this
"Bernice called Jose’s mom already, I was just there." But we want the psychologist to call too. "She doesn’t know me, and didn’t you just speak to her as well? Oh my gosh, if 10 people are calling 40 years from now to tell me that Clementine stole someone’s sandwich I will go freaking postal. Please, please tell me I won’t still be getting all of these calls in 40 years. Wait, what? A MEETING?! About a sandwich?! You know Jose’s mom works right? You know that she’s been going to 40 YEARS of meetings about Jose stealing sandwiches and that’s why HE’S IN OUR PROGRAM. Oh MY GOD if I’m going to meetings 40 years from now about Clementine stealing sandwiches I am finding each of you assholes (always said in genuine love) and dragging everyone one of you to every fucking sandwich meeting".
Soooo, my physician wants to put me on blood pressure medicine. I’m perfectly healthy except for something like 180/110- or, uhm, higher. Even manually. Even when hanging out with nurse friends on a Sunday afternoon.
I’m within appropriate BMI, I don’t eat great but I don’t eat fast food or a whole lot of processed food. He asked me if I’m stressed. Foster care came to mind but so did “We’re in New York, right? Isn’t stress a prerequisite?” Also, it doesn’t help that for the past several month my job has expanded and now “Crisis Team” is in my title. Yet, oddly, 300 pound men with autism* jumping off moving buses and across highway traffic and disappearing only to be found because they’re punching people in the face in IKEA - doesn’t really stress me out that much. 5 years of crazy foster care phone calls does.
And now the Early Intervention (EI) people. I swear to God they must get ski ball tickets shooting out of their damn phone for every call they make- even if there’s only 5 minutes between calls. You know when people call like that? When someone has DIED. Or, if you’re 16-24 and your willing to risk death because you’re in love and not yet hormonally balanced.
If I don’t answer the first time it might be because I’m negotiating with IKEA to turn their lights and music off for 5 measly minutes and for someone to get me a purple soda so I can get a man back on a bus. I WILL call you back.
*totally false example not related to my job because I’d like to keep my job. But purple soda does solve 90% of my problems at work.
“The lady at PS XX (school) was hilarious. She kept giving me statements starting with “I never met a foster parent who”. One was votes (because I said I vote at that school). One was asks for a school supply list and another asks about uniforms (she said they always end up giving free uniforms, school supplies). Also about if kids need to bring lunch.”—Text from Runfostermama
"Fwd: Major NYC Foster Parent Recruitment Event - Urgent"
This, from the agency that still hasn’t completed her foster parent licensure event though it’s been OVER A YEAR. And she’s the one who has pushed. She knows of 2 completed MAPP classes of students still waiting for a call back.
It’s a good thing Runfostermama is so sane.
Oh, and the email contains a hundred + personal email addresses in it. Probably one of the reasons foster agencies are so afraid of email because they cat trust their workers not to so something like that.
It looks like they also spammed yahoo groups: Queensfreecycle anyone? BlackSingleChristians, brooklynhomeschoolers, lots of LGBT groups and someone with an email account “crazyitch”.
I’m not saying I have a better way, just a good laugh for the morning.
As it always happens, Asia takes care of our sorry selves and then gets sick a few days later. She’s the best- and I feel bad. Do they make hallmark cards for when you pass your stomach virus’ on to your babysitter?
(*yes, she has unlimited and highly encouraged paid sick, personal, vacation days)
I am so pathetic when I get sick like this. It’s the only time I second guess becoming a single parent- especially up here in NY and not back home with some family to help.
Thanks to Meret, Logan and of course Asia for keeping us afloat. The girls are fine, I’m pretty sure they think barfing is hilarious which makes keeping up with them, and keeping my own cookies down completely impossible alone.
Made it to work today. I’m thinking it’ll be pretty restful.
I came home from vacation to a crazy foster care voicemail so I’m going to start bitching again. But before that, let me pause and say that the case worker Sandy’s had for the past year (her 3rd) is really awesome. I should say that more often. She’s a totally rational, normal and smart human being who does her job exceptionally.
She did send me some crazy text messages (Sandy’s coat smells like tar from a construction site) but I worked on seeing it from her perspective that she needs to show that she’s documenting and following up on all of mom’s concerns.
Also, I really like Clementine’s new case worker. She seems totally capable and rational.
You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to be medical director of a foster agency. That sounds like scariest job in the world. We all know that kids die. It happens. So it’s just a matter of time before dread turns to feeling like shit.
Deep breath. Repeat my mantra "I chose foster care. I'm flexible. It will all work out. This will hopefully somehow make me a better person"
Homestudy evaluator called. He didn’t get my messages because he’s “always driving”. I said “Name any day and time before or after our 3 day trip”. He said
"Just call me when you get back from Puerto Rico and we’ll set up an appointment".
“We’ll only be gone for 3 days, can we go ahead and set a time now? I’d really like to do that. Especially if you’re telling the foster agency you can’t reach me”.
He said “No, no- you said you come back on Wednesday, call me then”.
Okay seriously, am I being pranked? Is this guy reading the blog and just fucking with me? Ashton Kutcher, you fucker, I’m not signing a release for this to go on TV so just end it now and make my fucking adoption homestudy appointment already.
I chose to bail on a meeting I called and was suppose to facilitate at work in order to deal with all of these calls (aka non-emergency emergency) and the homestudy evaluator isn’t picking up. I called twice. Obviously leaving messages is useless. I guess I’m supposed to freaking call the agency back and tell them that I called him twice but I do really need to go salvage a meeting.
Just got a crazy call from the foster agency about how I’m holding up Clementine’s adoption because I’m not calling the outside agency homestudy evaluator (I don’t think he’s a social worker) back for an appointment.
ACTUALLY, he canceled the last 3 appointments that were scheduled at his most convenient time. He last canceled yesterday asking in a voicemail to come on Sunday, I left a message that we’re in Puerto Rico for 3 day but I’m available any other times.
He apparently is another person who doesn’t listen to voicemail messages because he called my foster agency and told them he can’t get ahold of me (even though we last spoke only 36 hours ago and I’ve left 2 messages since).
The foster worker’s automatic (get it done) plan - not to tell him to listen to his voicemail (that would be too efficient). She told me she’s going to call him and tell him that I’ll be calling him in 10 minutes.
Never thought I’d title anything as such, but… Sandy just had that moment where in trying to grab something she went from super loud, obnoxious-as-hell grunting to silence and then a soft, sweet “peas?” (Please).
It killed me. Full on broke my heart in a good way. Thankfully it was just a grapefruit that she wanted to throw on the floor because I totally let her after that. If she was asking to sprinkle Ajax on her cereal I would have been mentally fucked.
She doesn’t know it, but for the next couple if weeks that “peas” is going to get her almost anything she wants.
I already took photos of Clementine with her birthday cards and gifts from last night’s party and sent them to her birth mom - who in turn has already decorated them with unicorns and clouds and posted them on Facebook. Clementine is going to LOVE this stuff when she’s a teenager. It’ll be soooo 2014.